"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Friday, May 29, 2009


Fridays make me happy. Ok, ecstatic. Whenever I fill out one of those surveys that ask my favorite day of the week, I always respond “Fridays at 5:00 p.m.” – you never have more weekend than you do at the end of a Friday. It’s a good thing.

Other things making me happy right now:

I love, LOVE all things psychology. It was even my major in college for 2 years, but I changed for some unknown reason. Anywho, while I wait for The Office and The Closer to hit the small screen again, I’ve been neck-deep in In Treatment. The brilliant and emotional (and wow is it) drama follows psychoanalyst Paul Weston, capturing sessions with each of his patients, as well as his own sessions with friend and fellow therapist Gina. Gabriel Byrne, the actor who plays Paul, is a dreamy Irish bloke you might remember from The Usual Suspects or Little Women, and I totally buy him as a therapist. The “patients” are amazing actors as well, one of whom is Martin Crane from Frasier. My advice: don’t even start watching unless you’re prepared to be sucked in.

I never feel like I’ve finished eating until I have dessert. It’s a problem that has gotten me into calorie trouble more times than I care to admit, and I’ve found a new vice – the Jr. Candy Sundae at Sonic. It’s the perfect amount of ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry, and you get to add your topping of choice – M&M, Reese’s, Oreo or Butterfinger. Delightful. And only $1 on their Extra Value Menu!

And last but most certainly not least, Harris has re-entered the blogosphere! Check out her blog for commentaries on fashion, beauty, nail polish, Victoria “Posh” Beckham and Nicole Richie. Welcome back, Diva!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

i'm back

Hello, readers. As the subject of this post denotes, I’m back. Actually, I’ve been back for a little while, but I’m just now making it here. Miss me?

So I was in Miami last week, and I know I said this last time, but it was hot, people. And humid. I felt right at home. As it typically does when I travel for work, actual “work” got in the way of fun time (right, KM and MK?). Still, it was great getting to see a part of the country I’d never visited, and just knowing Kim Kardashian was a matter of yards away was exciting (no, I didn’t see her, and yes, I did look for her).

Since it seems like eons ago when I last posted a Delicious Dish, here’s my new favorite summer treat:

Mango Sorbet (recipe courtesy of my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, my new favorite wedding gift)

1 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 medium ripe mangoes (approximately 3½ pounds total)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
8 to 12 attractive fresh mint leaves, for garnish, if desired

Combine the water and sugar in a sauce pan over high heat; cook until the sugar has dissolved (basically making a simple syrup). Remove from the heat, and allow the sugar syrup mixture to cool completely.

Cut through a mango on both sides of the flat, center pit; discard the pit (I destroyed about 3 mangoes trying to figure out how to get rid of the pit. Serves me right for not doing my research). Make diagonal cross-hatch marks on the flesh of each mango half, slicing down to, but not through, the peel.

Invert the mango halves, pushing the fruit upward; slide the knife along the base of the cubes to separate them from the peel (fun!). Repeat with the remaining mangoes. Puree the mango cubes in a food processor until smooth (I used a hand blender that worked great).

Combine the puree with the sugar syrup and lime juice; strain through a coarse sieve (I skipped this part because a), I had no coarse sieve, and b) pure laziness kept me from really looking to see if I had a coarse sieve).

Process the mango mixture in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions; store tightly covered in the freezer. 3 WW points per serving!

To Serve: Remove the sorbet from the freezer 10 to 15 minutes prior to serving. (Note: This will temper the sorbet and produce the most desirable texture.) Scoop into individual serving
dishes and garnish each with fresh mint leaves; serve immediately.

For tips on choosing and cubing mangoes, check out this website.


Saturday, May 16, 2009


Readers, I am currently in Miami for work! I'm staying at a hotel in the Art Deco district, and it is beyond fab...and HOT. South Beach is most definitely bringing the heat. So it will probably be a few days until I post on here again, but I'll be back, and hopefully I'll have a healthy glow as proof.

PS - I got upgraded to First Class on my flight today! Granted, it was only for like 2 hours, but I felt uber cool getting to be on the other side of that curtain for once. Delta Airlines, you rock!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

helpful hint

Here’s a great kitschy kitchen tip from the Casserole Queens:

After a long day in the kitchen on Monday, we found ourselves with a bad case of smelly cooking hands! You know that feeling….no matter how many times you wash your hands, they would still smell like the onions you just chopped. Well, to stamp out the smell for good - simply rub your hands over a stainless steel utensil under running water. Try it. It really works! Especially on the odor of garlic, onions or fish.

Neato! For other helpful hints or to order a casserole (if you're in the Austin, TX area), check out their cute website!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

q and a

I love these things.

1. First thing you wash in the shower? hair

2. What color is your favorite hoodie? I don’t have a hoodie. What do I look like, Eminem? No offense to hoodie-wearers out there - you know i love you, just not the hood.

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? Sure. He’s cute.

4. Do you plan outfits? All the time in my brain. The problem lies in when the outfits are not as cute on as they are in my imagination.

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? surly.

6. Whats the closest thing to you that's red? My packing tape dispenser and red Precise pen are equidistant from me right now.

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having? For some reason some high school friends of mine were going to the same trade show I’m getting ready for. Whatev.

8. Did you meet anybody new today? Only if the DHL guy counts.

9. What are you craving right now? A quiet room with a bed and sleepy puppies.

10. Do you floss? After being tarred and feathered by the dental hygienist at my last trip to the dentist, yes.

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage? Cabbage rolls and a stinky house

12. Are you emotional? I prefer “passionate.”

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000? I hate numbers, unless they are very big in my checking account and/or very small on a price tag.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it? lick.

15. Do you like your hair? I suppose so. Curly is way easier than straight. (thanks, MK)

16. Do you like yourself? Depends.

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? Of course. He would be a fascinating dinner guest.

18. What are you listening to right now? That song “Evil Woman” on my radio at work. It reminds me of Frau Farbissima on Austin Powers.

19. Are your parents strict? I guess so, but I was pretty strict on myself, too.

20. Would you go sky diving? No. Way. Jose’.

21. Do you like cottage cheese? No. Way. Jose’.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity? I met Shaq when he was still playing for LSU. I’ve also met Bo Jackson and BB King.

23. Do you rent movies often? When there’s something good on our OnDemand thingy.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in? not that I see.

25. How many countries have you visited? England, Japan and Canada. I highly recommend international travel – there is no better education.

26. Have you made a prank phone call? Probably. I’m sure I wasn’t very funny or convincing, though.

27. Ever been on a train? Yes. I would love to ride the Hogwarts Express one day.

28. Brown or white eggs? There’s something I really like about brown eggs, but I think they all taste the same.

29. Do you have a cell-phone? Yes. iPhone in September!

30. Do you use chap stick? Yes.

31. Do you own a gun? No

32. Can you use chop sticks? I sure can. I am a chopstick superstar.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight? My hubs and the twins.

34. Are you too forgiving? I probably should be more so.

35. Ever been in love? Sure.

36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow? Working

37. Ever have cream puffs? Yes. Martha Foose’s cannot be beat.

38. Last time you cried? can’t remember

39. What was the last question you asked? "Is it cute?"

40. Favorite time of the year? Fallish.

41. Do you have any tattoos? Wouldn't you like to know?

42. Are you sarcastic? Yes.

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect? No. sounds stupid.

44. Ever walked into a wall? Probably during a bout of vertigo – walls, chairs, cars, doors…

45. Favorite color? green

46. Have you ever slapped someone? Not that I recall

47. Is your hair curly? Yes. And big.

48. What was the last CD you bought? I recently replaced my Abbey Road CD.

49. Do looks matter? Of course. Anyone who says they don’t is mistaken.
50. Are your nails painted? I just took off my fingernail polish, but my toenails are white – “Picket Fence” to be exact.

51. Is your phone bill sky high? No. Last month I only used 98 minutes.

52. Do you like your life right now? Sure.

53. Do you sleep with the TV on? Nope. I like it pitch black and silent.

54. Can you handle the truth? Sometimes.

55. Do you have good vision? No – I wear contacts.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? I could probably come up with 3+ if I thought about it, but who wants to think about people you hate?

57. How often do you talk on the phone? Not often if I can help it. I don't really like to talk on the phone.

58. Who was the last person you held hands with? Kell.

59. What are you wearing? Work clothes.

60. What is your favorite animal? Dogs! Specifically MY dogs.

61. Where was your default picture taken at? Between the "a" and the "t." What the devil is a default picture anyway?

62. Can you hula hoop? You know I can.

63. Do you have a job? I do – a darn good one.

64. What was the most recent thing you bought? Mushrooms, a bell pepper and some grapes.

65. Have you ever crawled through a window? Yes.

I just got an email about my 10-year class reunion. Does that disturb anyone else besides me?

Monday, May 11, 2009

may days

It seems like it’s been forever since my last post! I know all three to five of you have been pacing wanting to know what’s been going on in my life.

As most do, this post revolves mainly around food. What is it about food that really sticks out in people’s minds? Is it because it is delicious? Is it because it’s something everyone has in common? Or does it work hand-in-hand with the instinct to be social that (most) humans have? Either way, I love it.

Last week, Haley invited me to join her for a Cinco de Mayo cooking class at the Viking Cooking School in Greenwood. If you’ve never participated in one, I highly recommend it. The recipes were great, and I finally learned the correct way to operate my ice cream maker, even after I called the company years ago demanding they send me another part that I was unknowingly assembling upside down. Cuisinart guy, if you are out there, I’m sorry I was so stupid.

Anywho, here’s the first Delicious Dish of the week:

Toasted Tortilla Soup with Fresh Cheese (Sopa de Tortilla)
Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium fresh Anaheim or poblano chile, seeded, veins removed, chopped
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, un-drained (recommended Muir Glen® fire-roasted)
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1½ limes), or to taste
Salt, to taste

4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, preferably stale* (or you could just crumble up some tortilla chips)
2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil, plus extra for oiling pan
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced (optional)
8 ounces Mexican queso fresco (or other fresh cheese such as farmer's cheese), cut into small cubes
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

For the Soup: Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat; add 2 tablespoons of the oil and
heat through. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 8 to 10
minutes. Add the garlic, Anaheim or poblano chile, crushed red pepper flakes, and cumin;
cook just until the aroma is released, about 2 minutes more.

Transfer the sautéed onion mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the tomatoes and
process until smooth.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the
pureed tomato mixture and stir until thick and considerably darker, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth to the tomato mixture; partially cover and simmer over medium-low
heat for about 30 minutes. Add the lime juice, then season to taste with salt and lime juice.

To Serve: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush both sides of each tortilla with oil. Slice the
tortillas in half, then slice the halves crosswise into ¼-inch strips. Spread the tortilla strips in
a single, even layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake, turning halfway through cooking
time, until crisp and golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and
immediately sprinkle with salt Set aside until needed.

Divide half of the crispy tortilla strips among 4 individual soup bowls; ladle in the soup. Top
with diced avocado (if using) and cheese; garnish with the remaining tortilla strips and
cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Muy delicioso.

This weekend, we all headed up north to Starkville to celebrate Mother’s Day with my parents and Harris. It seemed like ages since I’d been home or seen Harris, so we had a great time. Saturday morning, my mom and I went to the Mint clothing and home stores (really fun – I got a mirror), Dirt Cheap (seriously, never again – it was like a third world country in there), Tuesday Morning and Libby Story – my personal fave.

But if I may say so, the most delicious part of the weekend was the Southern-Style Strawberry Cake I made (getting a little cocky, eh?). I decided a cute mom deserved a cute cake, so I went to work on it. The recipe (and photo) came from Joy the Baker, a delightful little blog about baking, food, photography and general lovelies. I believe the recipe actually came from the cookbook Sweets, which I plan to purchase soon.

Here you go:

Southern Style Strawberry Cake
1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding)
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello
1 Tablespoon self rising flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the cake, combine to cake mix, Jello, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition Add the water and strawberries and mix well. Divide the batter evenly into three 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled and floured (I got my very first cake pans for this project. Fun!). Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer the layers from the oven to wire racks. Let them cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside edge of each pan, then unmold each layer onto the racks to cool completely.

My additional step: After the cakes cooled, I carefully sliced off the rounded top of one cake to make it completely level and so the top layer would sit flatly on it. I left the top layer rounded because, by George, I worked hard on this cake, and I wanted it to look homemade.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 (1 pound) boxes powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
pink food coloring
4 sliced strawberries

(*I bought an extra tub of cream cheese icing as I do not like to be hindered by the amount of icing I have. Just a culinary precaution.)

To make the frosting, in a bowl combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat until soft and pliable and no lumps remain. Add one box of the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated. Add the second box of sugar and mix until incorporated. If you would like a smoother consistency, and a slash of milk. If you would like a thicker consistency, and a bit more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.

Put the coconut in a small bowl and sprinkle with two or three drops of pink die. Mix with hands to distribute the color and wash hands immediately. Once the cake is frosted*, decorate the top of the cake with the shredded coconut and sliced strawberries.

My additional steps: Put a dollop of icing on the cake stand before you place the cakes on it. This will act as a kind of “glue” to keep the cake stationary when you are icing it.
Your first step in the icing process is to frost the “crumb layer” – basically a super-thin layer of frosting to collect all the crumbs so your outer layer of frosting is beautiful and crumb-free! After you’ve applied the crumb layer, let it dry in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Then, frost away!

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 4, 2009

kim-tucky derby

If you're tired of hearing about Kim Kardashian, you're on the wrong blog. Look how lovely she looked at the Kentucky Derby! Oh Kim, can we be besties?

(photo courtesy of Red Carpet Fashion Awards)
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